You’ve made it more than halfway through January. Congratulate yourself for staying on the wagon.
(And if you haven’t – it’s never to late to jump on board!)
1) Listen to Your Body:
It’s important to push yourself during a workout regimen – but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your body’s cues. If you’re sore, consider working a different body part or taking a rest day. If you’re sick, skip the gym and focus on recovery. At the end of the day, your body knows itself – and to do what’s best for your overall health, your whole body needs to be in the conversation.
2) Make a Playlist:
There’s nothing quite like your favorite workout songs to distract from the pain of a workout or to push you that extra mile. Need help building a list? No problem – websites like Pandora, Spotify and Songza have playlists already compiled for you. If you want to build your own, places like Shape and Fitness Magazine have some great suggestions. And if you’re not into music, check out the website PodcastDirectory and apps like Podcast Addict to find the perfect audio show to keep you entertained.
3) Switch it Up:
Doing any workout day after day gets old after a while. While you’re listening to your body (see tip #1) to discover what will feel best on any given day, consider stepping outside of your comfort zone to try a new workout. It’s actually been proven that Muscle Confusion (or switching up your workout routine) can shock your metabolism into overdrive.
4) Grab a Buddy:
Finding another person to hold you accountable for working out can be a great motivator to stay active. Pick someone who has similar fitness goals, a similar starting fitness level and just a dash of competetive spirit. By pushing one another to follow through with commitments, you’ll both rev up your fitness game and have fun – together – while doing it. (Need to find a buddy? Check out these 7 tips from Fitness Magazine).
5) Get Selfish:
When you’ve got a busy, working life, just about anything can threaten to get in the way of your workout. Instead of getting caught up in the hectic swing of your week, skipping workouts and feeling guilty for doing so, set some boundaries for personal time. Drop the kids with the spouse (or a relative), let your boss know you’ll be out of comission and set your phone to Do Not Disturb. Workouts are for you – and demanding time to accomplish them can make you happier and more productive in other aspects of life. You deserve a little slice of paradise.
6) Make it a Habit:
It’s been two weeks since New Years, and if you made fitness a resolution, you might be discovering that after three weeks of setting aside time to workout (see tip #5), it’s novelty has quickly worn out (that doesn’t mean it takes away the fun, though! See tip #3). But that’s a good thing! By making fitness as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth or having a cup of coffee you incorporate it into your schedule and decrease the likelihood that you’ll skip! Soon enough it’ll be so habitual that you won’t even remember the last time you took a week off.
7) Start Slow:
If you’re just jumping into your workout routine, don’t expect to be superman (or woman!) on the first day. Getting fit takes time – you just have to remember that by working out consistently and prioritizing your health you will get there.
So start off slow and set reasonable goals. If you find that you can walk for 15 minutes straight today, set a goal to try walking 20 minutes next week. After that, consider adding more time, weights or incline to the routine.
You’ll be super-fit before you know it.
8) Don’t Beat Yourself Up:
We all fall of the wagon ocassionally. And that’s Okay!
The most important thing to do when you slip on fitness goals is to recognize the situation for what it was, accept that it was okay, and resolve to move past it. Dwelling on mistakes can cause self blame, doubt and helplesness that’s not particularly healthy or productive. Instead, move past the incident and remind yourself that it happens to everyone! You can and you will get fit!
9) Write It Down:
Writing down your fitness goals and keeping track of your progress can be a great way to keep you going. Not only does putting your workout desires on paper force you to really evaluate why you want to get fit, it can also be a great reminder on the days you’re sore, ready to stop, and can’t remember why you even started working out in the first place. By logging your progress, you’ll build a timeline of your fitness acomplishments – something that can help you evaluate how far you’ve come and motivate you to start over again if you ever do slip a little bit.
10) Love It!
People who stick with exercise are the ones who do it for love. Seriously! If you think all workouts have to be grueling, time consuming and boring, you’re doing the wrong thing! If you hate the gym, join a club team for a sport you love. If you hate sports, try dancing. If you hate running, take a walk! Your weekly 120 minutes of cardiovascular activity can come in any shape or form – so pick one that sounds fun to you and you’re more likely to stick with it!